SINGH IS KINNG, SPEEDY SINGH, now I AM SINGH. Actor/director Puneet Issar's GARV had bankable stars featuring in it. In I AM SINGH, the only known face is,
well, Puneet Issar himself. This time, Puneet talks about hate crimes and racial discrimination, post 9/11, in the United States. The intent is right, but
the written material isn't convincing, while the execution of the material is archaic, reminiscent of the cinema of the 80s, where over the top performances
were considered 'acting'.
The issue -- racial discrimination -- isn't new either. It has been attempted in the past [I PROUD TO BE AN INDIAN, CROOK, NEW YORK, KURBAAN, KHUDA KAY LIYE,
MY NAME IS KHAN] as well. You'd expect I AM SINGH to at least say something we haven't heard/watched earlier, but the serious issue isn't highlighted
convincingly, except in a few sequences in the flashback.
I AM SINGH tells the story of a young Sikh named Ranveer [Gulzar Chahal]. His elder brothers are citizens of America. The story takes a turn when Ranveer
receives a call from his mother. Ranveer's life changes in a flash as he comes to know that one of his brothers is dead, his father is seriously injured and
another brother is missing. Ranveer leaves for the U.S. immediately.
Once there, he tries to find out what actually happened to his family, but he doesn't get the right answers. Ranveer meets Rizwan [Rizwan Haider], an
American of Pakistani origin. Rizwan tells him what actually happened that night. Ranveer realizes that he has to fight this battle on his own. As luck would
have it, he meets a Sikh named Fateh Singh [Puneet Issar], a police officer in the LAPD. He, in turn, introduces Ranveer to an American, who decides to fight
I AM SINGH appeals in bits and spurts. A few sequences do hold your attention, but injecting 'entertainment' in an issue-based film looks out of place. The
film could've moved on a singular track, avoiding the item songs or half-baked romantic tracks. What was the need? Also, the protagonist's interaction with
the cops should've made the right dramatic impact, but it falls flat. Also contradictory is his behavior. He talks of non-violence, but bashes up skinheads a
few sequences later. The post-interval portions only head downwards and the momentum to highlight racial attacks on Asians is childishly handled. Besides,
the generous usage of English -- especially in the courtroom sequence -- has its limitations. The soundtrack is also lackluster.
The acting is below the mark as well. Puneet Issar dominates the show, while Gulzar Chahal lacks the fire to carry off this role. The American actresses
don't leave any impact either. Rizwan Haider is plain ordinary. Tulip Joshi is wasted. The actress enacting the part of the mother is alright.
On the whole, I AM SINGH is too weak a fare to leave any impact whatsoever.